Is it Time You Invested In A VPN?
Tony be damned, it's time to go into online hiding.
by Matt Leatt-Hayter
With the passing of the controversial metadata laws, and more recently Dallas Buyers Club winning a landmark lawsuit requiring a number of ISP (Internet Service Provider)'s to hand over both physical and IP addresses of detected online ‘pirates’, a lot of people are concerned about their online security. Let's have a close look at what is actually going on and how you can stop old mate Tony from discovering your seedy snuff fetish, by using a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will essentially encrypt all outgoing traffic from your computer, direct it to another location somewhere on the globe, and access the Internet from that location. But what does this mean?
With no encryption iiNet will see what Joe Blog’s in Perth is looking at, plain as day, for example:
Here's that link again, this time with an encryption:
And he’s now surfing the web from Latvia, Urā!
So who will actually benefit from a VPN? We’ve compiled a short list of people who may want to look into it, and what VPN service would suit best:
The relentless downloader:
You’ve got the equivalent of seven Blockbusters stored on a hard drive the size of your wallet. It doesn’t matter if it’s a legal eBook, or a cracked copy of The Sims Deluxe Edition, you want it. Ideally you will find a VPN service that is optimised for torrenting. ExpressVPN is a good one, with unlimited bandwidth and file sharing allowed on all servers. If you are not worried about browsing privacy, and just want to torrent anonymously, it may be worth getting a proxy for bittorent. It offers faster download speeds at the expense of privacy (Tony can still see what you search for on Google, but he can’t see what you’re torrenting). TorGuard offer a torrent proxy in addition to a range of VPN services.
Whether it’s the Polish water polo team final at the Olympics, the latest death-metal concert in Germany, or Netflix in the US, you want to watch it live, and you want to watch it now. Your problem? “This service is not available in your country”. A VPN will change that, telling the site you are accessing the Internet from an allowed country (very sneaky). Look for a VPN provider that has multiple server locations around the globe.
The privacy fanatic:
You have CCTV for your home, a 13-digit passcode for your phone and log out of Facebook whenever you go to the toilet. What you do is your business and no one else’s. A VPN will offer you the peace of mind that no one can see your perverted browsing habits. Look for a VPN that is based in a country with lax data retention laws and keeps no logs. Most VPN providers nowadays keep no logs, a good one is privateinternetaccess.
Chances are you don’t need this information as you are currently sitting behind 22 proxies with command prompt open trying to get into the FBI mainframe. Please don’t hack my Facebook.
If you’re a grandma just using the Internet to create a family tree, or an 11-year-old boy playing Runescape, chances are a VPN is overkill for you. However, the Dallas Buyers Club vs iiNet now sets precedence for other production companies to come after torrenters for copyright infringement. It’s probably worth looking into a VPN if you torrent on a regular basis – or just don’t want the government to find the source of your memes.